Stunning antique French gres floor tiles c.1885-1890 (CE38)
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A stunning antique French gres tile floor, in surface area totalling at minimum 13m2 / 140 sq ft but if tiles with chips are used could be as large as 16m2 / 170 sq ft. The tiles are 2cm thick and were produced by Boulenger Auneuil near Beauvais between the years of 1885 and 1890. Although Boulenger are now no longer trading, the tiles were produced in a factory which is still standing and now used on a very small scale to make stoneware pots fired in an old climbing kiln. The factory is still covered in original tiles, many of which are similar to these for sale and the company donated a Museum to the village, which is also covered completely in encaustic tiles (see photos below). The tiles were quite highly fired and were handmade in pairs, separated by strips of clay. These were then broken apart after firing, leaving two jagged stripes across the backs. Three colours are typically dominant in Boulenger tiles both by creative preference and owing to the types of clays used; a yellow ochre, a burnt red (‘sang de boeuf’ or ‘Bulls blood’ in French) and black. These are beautifully produced tiles in a classical tessellation. The floor comprises of the principal field tile and two black and yellow ochre feature and border tiles, which can be laid with the more ornate tile as a central floor feature and the geometric as a header, top and bottom. Optionally, both could frame internal sections of the floor.
Border quantities:- Ornate – 35 tiles – 4.9 linear metres Geometric – 50 tiles – 7 linear metres
The tiles are in good condition, bearing the occasional chips expected of a floor well over 100 yrs old. The tiles with larger chips have been included in the seondary batch of tiles of c.3m2 / 30 sq ft for off cuts / keying.
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